Modern music has taken a penchant for shapeshifting even moreso lately — bands either seemingly wanting to stand out next to stale, played-out genres or just acting as though they’re just sick of creating something to please someone else. Michigan genre-hoppers, Salem (John Holland, Heather Marlatt, Jack Donoghue), sound like the bored byproducts of suburban living and coddled senses, their own weird overindulgence making their latest release King Night, a baffling piece of ear-candy, much like Sleighbells’ popular and bizzaro cheerleader grunge-tastic Treats, released earlier this year.
Icy dance sounds spill vapor over layered choir vocals (name the holiday carol backing up the title track!) and skip to humid hip hop throughout the liner notes of this release which squirms and sludges through the underbelly of a new trend of careless creation. ‘Anything goes’ is the new black. Terrorbird’s Jessica Kizer, promoter for Salem says, “Salem is one of the pioneers of a new genre called “witch haus” or “drag”. While this is primarily an electronic genre, Salem’s album has the DNA of a hip hop record with their back-beats and sloooowed down rapping. ‘Sick’ and ‘Trapdoor’ and ‘Tair’ are the most obvious of this style.” Check out two tracks from Salem, above.